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May 3, 2019

Plant a Pet Friendly Garden this Spring


Author: Tina Tuszynski

Are you aware that many common flowers and vegetable plants can be poisonous and/or toxic to dogs and cats? Whether you’re planting a new garden or maintaining an existing one, it’s important to design it to contain pet friendly plants, as many toxic plants can have a detrimental effect quickly and with only a little bit of ingestion.

Common signs of plant poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, and confusion. Get your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Waiting too long may have a serious effect on their health and even result in death.

Common Toxic Plants for Dogs and Cats

  • Daffodils – while the entire plant is poisonous, the bulb is very toxic and can cause convulsions, vomiting, and a serious drop in blood pressure.
  • Tulips – again, while the entire plant is poisonous, the bulb is very toxic to your pets.
  • Easter Lillies are very toxic to cats – even one leaf can make a cat very ill.
  • Azaleas and rhododendrons – Ingestion can cause death to both dogs and cats.
  • Tomato plants – the green leaves and plant are very poisonous to both dogs and cats. Tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family, which includes many weeds, vegetables, and ornamental plants; nightshades are toxic to both cats and dogs. Other veggies in the nightshade family include eggplant, peppers, and potatoes.

The ASPCA has published a thorough guide to toxic and non-toxic plants to refer to when planting your garden.

When designing or assessing your garden, consider your pet’s lifestyle and capabilities. If you have a very agile dog, you may want to completely rid your yard and garden of all toxic plants. If your pet is older and cannot climb or jump high, you can plant these flowers up high, in containers. And while you may have an indoor cat, it’s important to consider that if they do get out accidentally, they are agile and often hide in plants.

Again, if you suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous plant, or is exhibiting the common signs of toxicity, don’t wait – get them to a vet as soon as possible.

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